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Former staff criticise management after Wakefield City Academies Trust collapse
EB News: 25/09/2019 - 12:01
Former staff and trustees have criticised management of Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) after it was announced the company is to be liquidated later this month.
In February 2016, Mike Ramsay became the interim chief executive of WCAT, which ran 21 schools across Yorkshire.
Accounts showed he was paid £272,000 as interim chief executive plus £46,000 as adviser to the board. His computer company, which supplied software to schools under the trust's control, received £522,000.
Former trustee Steve Corne, a professional accountant, said Ramsay "believed that he's worth plus £200,000 per annum and his justification for that was that he was in charge of a business that turned over £100m.
"I pointed out that a public company's turnover had to be obtained, whereas here we were given £100m by the government and all we had to do was control costs."
Former office manager Kirstie Whipp claims a tender process was "orchestrated" to let Ramsay's daughter, Hannah, get a contract for clerking services worth £123,000. Whipp claims she had to teach Hannah Ramsay how to take down the minutes and how to record them.
Ramsay, who left WCAT in May 2017 and now runs a gym in Leeds, denies any wrongdoing while at the trust. He issued a statement which said there had been no conflict of interest, all connected party activity was in line with policy and scrutinised internally as well as by external audit and the government's Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
He added that his remuneration was less than that of the chief executive he replaced and his daughter was awarded the clerking contract through an open tender process he had no involvement in.